As we reported yesterday, a Gopher Tortoise has been seen on the Garcia Groups Property. Tonight the PZA Board meets to approve the plans for the LARGEST DEVELOPMENT in Indiantown’s HISTORY.

As we promised, we did a little digging and here is what we found out.

Because gopher tortoises are protected in Florida, handling and relocation of gopher tortoises is an illegal activity unless conducted under a valid permit issued by FWC. In accordance with the Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines, an FWC relocation permit must be obtained before disturbing burrows and conducting construction activities.

If you see a tortoise crossing a busy road, FWC grants permission to move the gopher tortoise across the road in the same direction it was headed if it is safe for you to do so. Do not move the tortoise to another location or put the tortoise in a car as this constitutes illegal possession. In addition, most activities associated with residential lawn and landscape maintenance do not require a permit provided they do not collapse gopher tortoise burrows or harm tortoises.

So, again we ask. What steps will be taken to mitigate the issue? Will it be given no conversation and ignored like the Indian Mounds were? The PZA meets today. Let’s see who the adults are in the room this time. Shame Tony Z had to resign, he would speak truth to the matter.

In terms of what the developer is asking permission for, here you go:

A sprawling new community with more than 2,000 residential units and 100,000 square feet of commercial space could put this recently incorporated village on the map.

The 800-acre Terra Lago would be bordered west and east by Southwest Allapatah Road and an extension of Southwest Indian Mound Drive; and north and south by Southwest Palomino Street and Southwest Warfield Boulevard next to Indianwood Drive, according to site plans.

The project proposed by Warfield Investments, a branch of Virginia-based Garcia Companies, would have:

  • 2,014 single-family homes
  • 174 town homes
  • 300 apartments
  • a 200-bed assisted living facility
  • a town center with 100,000 square feet of commercial space
  • an 11-acre central area with a clubhouse and recreation center
  • 168 acres of wetland and upland preservation

For the village, Terra Lago would lay the groundwork for more development, officials said.

“If this is approved, this will actually set the tone and tenor for what’s next in Indiantown,” Village Manager Howard Brown said. “If you look at our strategic plan, one of our primary goals is to promote economic development through residential housing.”

The proposal has changed since developers first submitted plans to Martin County before the village was incorporated in 2017, he said. The village would use its outside consultants to assist in various reviews.

Terra Lago would be the single largest residential development project in Indiantown’s history, he said, and would need approvals from the village Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board and the Village Council before it could move ahead.

So there you go. Now we know the rest of the story. Let’s see what happens from here.

A big shout out to our TAM Watchdog “Grumpy” that tipped us off to the situation. If you have information you think people should know about drop us a line and we will make sure we amplify your voice !

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